‘Completely out of control’ – Judge slams soldier from Stevenage who repeatedly glassed stranger in drunken assault on dancefloor
- Credit: Archant
A soldier from Stevenage who left blood running down a complete stranger’s face after repeatedly glassing him on a dancefloor has been slammed by a judge as ‘disgraceful’.
Callum Eblett, of Dawlish Close, had been drinking for 12 hours with comrades from the Royal Marines’ Chivenor base in Devon – and he told the court he had been so drunk he could not even remember the unprovoked onslaught in August 2015, which left gaping cuts around bricklayer Daniel Clements’ eye.
Eblett, 21 – who was kicked out of the army and is now training as a scaffolder – denied assault causing actual bodily harm, but was found guilty.
And the jury at Exeter Crown Court heard that the then-Royal Engineer Commando fought so violently with police and door staff at the packed Fever Club in Barnstaple that he had to be wrestled to the ground and shackled.
Passing sentence on Tuesday, judge Erik Salomonsen told Eblett: “You have acknowledged you behaved disgracefully after this incident, but your actions during it were doubly so.
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“You were appallingly drunk and as a result you not only had no memory, you were completely out of control as well. You went completely over the top.”
He sentenced Eblett to six months in prison – suspended for a year – curfewed him for three months, and ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work. Eblett must also pay £250 in compensation and £250 in costs.
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Mr Clements told how he was set upon after he stepped in as a peacemaker when he thought a friend was about to be attacked.
“I told them to back off,” Mr Clements told the court. “I was not threatening or out of order. I held out my arms but did not touch anyone.
“I felt a clump to the side of my head caused by a clear bottle he held in his right hand. It was a hard hit and it stunned me.
“I bent over and held my head and as I came up I was hit a second time. I was stunned again and went down. I felt blood starting to run down my face.
“As I got up again he hit me. It was not as hard as the others but caused a graze under my eye.”
Eblett told the court that he remembered arguing ‘with a small lad on the dancefloor’, and being thrown out of the club – but not glassing anyone.
He had been drinking with comrades at the George Hotel in Braunton and the Rising Sun pub before going to the club, where he was drinking Desperado beer from a bottle.
“I remember being escorted out and being very distressed because I had been wrongly accused,” he said.
“I don’t believe I could do anything like that. In the army they teach self-defence and I would never strike anyone with the bottle. I don’t remember having a bottle because they are not allowed on the dance floor.”
Holly Pugsley, from Barnstaple, who was a friend of Eblett at the time, told the court she witnessed an argument on the dancefloor between Eblett and a smaller man who had been jostling him.
She said another man came over and threw a punch at Eblett – catching her with a glancing blow on the chin – after which he hit back twice in self-defence. She said he was not holding a bottle at the time.